A snow plough clears a road at Dublin Airport
© PA
A snow plough clears a road at Dublin Airport
The country is braced for the biggest ice blast the Siberian mammoth has to offer with a Status Red alert in place until 3pm on Friday

MET Eireann have issued a Status Red snow-ice weather warning for the entire country as Storm Emma reaches its colossal climax.

The Beast from the East has already wreaked havoc across Ireland with powerful blizzard-like gusts and heavy snowfall - the likes not seen in 36 years.

The country is now braced for the biggest ice blast the Siberian mammoth has to offer with a Status Red snow-ice warning in place for every county in the Republic until 3pm on Friday.

The warning reads: "Further heavy snow showers will bring accumulations of significant levels with all areas at risk.

"Blizzard conditions will develop from the south Thursday afternoon and evening as heavy snow and strong easterly winds bring snow drifts northwards over the country.

"Eastern and southern coastal counties will be worst affected."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar reaffirmed the warning saying: "Our main concern is for the forecast of Thursday night and for Friday.

"Storm Emma is coming up from the south and will meet polar air from the east, it'll give rise to heavy snow falls and combine with winds of up to 100km/h.

"These conditions will start at approximately 4pm tomorrow (Thursday) and spread northwards towards Leinster and Munster.

"We will face extremely hazardous conditions and we anticipate exceptional blizzard-like conditions.

"Having considered Met Eireann's serious warning it is advised that people do not venture out of doors while the red level warning is in place.

"We urge everyone, families, businesses, fisherman to heed this advice and to plan ahead for tomorrow's red level warning."

Transport services across the country will be on lockdown in red zone areas.

Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann have cancelled every route on Thursday while Irish Rail will cease operations from 2pm.

The Luas is running on a limited schedule as is Dublin Airport.

Primary schools and secondary schools will all shut up shop for the rest of the week.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton confirmed every school in every county will close until Monday, March 5.

He wrote on Twitter: "Status red has now been issued for all counties with immediate effect.

"All schools, third level institutions and colleges of further education will be closed tomorrow and Friday."